For designers in the US, especially those working on commercial projects, or what is generally known as the contract industry, there is that one show held every year in Chicago, that makes our hearts beat faster and our pulses quicken. It's the annual NeoCon show. NeoCon is where the design world comes together - three days of pure energy, bursting with new thinking, new resources, and new products. For 42 years the Merchandise Mart in Chicago has been home to North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors, providing nearly 40,000 architecture and design professionals with top-notch keynote speakers, cutting-edge products, innovative exhibits, building and design resources and materials. Usually in every firm a couple of senior designers are sent to the show....to check out the latest cutting edge designs in seating and office related furniture and to bring it back and share with the others. Sometimes, if the budget allows, they are allowed to take another designer from their team with them....so weeks before the show, all us designers start clamouring for that one favored spot. I had the thrill of attending NeoCon 2000, as a junior designer accompanying a senior designer, and came away breathless at the sheer genius and design of some of the products.
Even though this is all office furniture, some of the seating is so spectacular and gorgeous, I could easily see them in residentail setting for that clean modern, minimalist look. And if all office furniture looked like this, there would be no Monday morning blues and we'd all be running to work in the morning....at least I know I would!
So here are some of the entries at NeoCon 2010, held this June:
Twist manufactured by Sandler Seating/Tonon is an innovative shaped chair manufactured from injected polyurethane foam over a steel structure and mounted on a cruciform base.
The Vignette collection with an over-scaled Cube Lounge Chair, two- and three-seat Sofa, Swivel Lounge Chair and coordinating Coffee Tables.
The Layla Landscape collection offers a range of modular units that can be combined to create various configurations. Each unit incorporates a series of magnets enabling the modules to join easily/align neatly together.
Designed by Claudio Bellini, DR is derived from the concept of a simple, yet beautiful table. The leg structure is carved entirely from solid walnut wood and striking material contrasts create a distinctive look.
Wouldn't school kids love these? - The portable On Time chair is ideal for meeting rooms & multi-functional settings in businesses, schools, hotels or training centers. The seat flips up & the sides fold into a compact envelope just under 10".
The Saya guest chair surrounds a sitter with an embrace of innovative woven mesh upholstery. Its curvy exuberance and moderately scaled footprint provides an elegant counterpoint to rectilinear furniture configurations.
Designed for office, home or public spaces, the Full Twist chair highlights the art of finely sculpted furniture. Its frame of twisting solid maple or walnut can be finished in a complete portfolio of wood colors.
Club chairs, settees, sofas, benches and tables of a ‘soft contemporary’ design suitable for office, conference or public spaces. Fully upholstered with a choice of wood and metal accents.
A collaborative lounge that support all activities and postural changes that occur during collaborative meetings, as well as other social encounters that occur during the knowledge creation process
How ingenious is this...A table, stool, and cubby all in one, the versatile Flip meets a full spectrum of needs with one space-saving piece.